The Sentinel is on guard smack-bang in the centre of the left-leaning city of Portland, Oregon. Out of town, you can be in Mount Hood National Forest in an hour, or on a Pacific Ocean beach in just under two.
Fly into Portland International Airport – Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and American Airlines all fly direct from London in around ten hours. It takes 20 minutes to get to the hotel from there by car – hotel transfers cost $15, or you can take a taxi for around $25. Call the Smith24 team for help booking all your holiday travel.
Amtrak trains chug into Union station from Seattle, Eugene and Vancouver. From there, it’s less than a mile to the hotel (ten minutes by taxi). Transfers can be arranged for $10.
If you’re in the midst of a Pacific Coast road trip, you can use the hotel’s valet parking service for $45 a night. Surfing, rock climbing, mountain biking and forest trails are all within a couple of hours of the city, so for an extended trip to Oregon, you’ll need your own four-wheeler.
Worth getting out of bed for
Portland is an alternative, lefty kind of place, so simply wander the streets and meet the laidback locals, or grab a Shinola bike from the hotel and explore on two wheels. The Portland Saturday Market (2 SW Naito Parkway) covers a whole lot of bases – arts, crafts, music, food, and a healthy dose of fun. If you’re seeking solace, head up to the Japanese Garden, a nine-acre oasis of calm in the West Hills (611 SW Kingston Avenue). Or stick your nose in a good book – the block-wide Powell’s City of Books (1005 W Burnside St) is the largest new and used bookshop in the world, with an impressive stock of rare and out-of-print editions.
Upscale Portland City Grill does sharing plates, shallot soy-glazed ribs and chargrilled wagyu steak, with a soundtrack from the live pianist. You get city panoramas on the side, because it’s on the 30th floor of the US Bancorp skyscraper – if you’re not sure which one that is, remember its nickname, 'Big Pink' (111 SW 5th Ave). Salt cod fritters and Moorish lamb chops are two of dozens of options at tapas hangout Toro Bravo (120 NE Russell St) – sister restaurant Tasty & Alder does modern American small plates on the other side of the river (580 SW 12th Ave).
To get a taste for Portland’s street food scene, head to one of its food cart pods. The Alder Pod is the pick of a city-wide bunch, with a whole block of on-street options where SW Alder meets SW 9th; The Frying Scotsman does authentic British fish ‘n’ chips, while Bing Mi whips up loaded Chinese crepes.
Quench your thirst for knowledge and cocktails at Multnomah Whiskey Library (1124 SW Alder St), where the bartenders-cum-historians mix Old Fashioneds and house specialties for their loyal local members (as an outsider, you’ll have to try your luck with a walk-in). The downstairs Green Room looks like the kind of place the Wizard of Oz would hang out – especially if he knew how good the drinks are.